What can we do if my son is being charged with murder for an accident? 8 Answers as of June 24, 2011

I am looking for some advice for my son. He ran over and accidentally killed a 17 year old girl, I say accident because he didn't run over her on purpose. He was getting away from like 40 people who were throwing full glass beer bottles at him and accidentally hit her. As he and his friends ran back to his car and they started to drive away they went back for a friend of my son's that had been left behind. My son put the car in reverse and his friend got in the car , that's when he hit the young girl . I don't have the money to hire a lawyer who will actually help fight my son's case. This is why I am asking for legal advise . We have hired a lawyer but now I think I might of just hired him out of desperation, he (the lawyer)wants to settle for reckless manslaughter but we know that charge is still too severe. Yes a life was lost but my son didn't go to kill this young girl he was just scared for his and his friends' lives and he tried to leave as fast as he could. What can we do?

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Komanapalli Massey LLP
Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
Your son put himself into that situation. Note that it was not so desperate that he could not go back for his buddy. You are a dad looking through rose colored lenses. The attorney is correct. Take that deal and count your son's blessings. He killed a girl. He could get far worse for such recklessness, including second degree murder. Sorry.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/24/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
You present an incomplete and very uninformative set of events. No one can give you a suggestion or advise without knowing the prosecution's version of the evidence. I feel very much for you. You have a loved one a difficult situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/23/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Hire him an attorney. You already did so. If not happy with what you are being advised, hire a different attorney, or at least pay to consult with another attorney for a second opinion. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to help you or him in the slightest in his defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to not talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Feel free to contact me if serious about doing so.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/23/2011
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
In California when a person is killed and another person is responsible for the death the prosecutor may charge the defendant with murder under Penal Code Section 187. However, if in fact the District Attorney cannot prove the elements of homicide they can charge the defendant with involuntary manslaughter under one of two theories. However, if in fact it was truly "an accident" and your son was not "criminally negligent" then there is a chance he could be found not guilty of all charges. You should be consulting with a law firm that is AV rated and that has handled such serious cases for many years.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/23/2011
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
If you don't have the money to hire a good lawyer, I would get an attorney from the public defender's office assigned. Your son just has to qualify financially.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Your son has the right to go to trial if he does not want to accept any plea bargain that is offered. That is a matter of close examination that I cannot assess via this system of advice. If you don't like your current lawyer you can hire another one or request the services of the public defender if you son qualified financially.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    What a tragedy for your family and the girl's - I'm so sorry to read this post. It is difficult to assess how reasonable that offer is without knowing more about your son and seeing the police reports. If you are unhappy with the lawyer you hired, by all means end the relationship and get some of your money back. Remember that you can always have the Public Defender for free. If you would like a free consultation I would be happy to talk to you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    Sorry to hear that, but man slaughter is an accidental death. There has to be some kind of facts that I don't know. But your attorney should push for a better deal. Don't let him settle it immediately. Where is the case out of?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
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